Anyone Familiar with Scent or Smell Marketing?

25 replies
I just saw a news story about scent marketing. It's apparently a secret multi billion dollar industry. It's based on the premise that certain smells or aromas can trigger or put customers in a buying frame of mind or mood.

It's used in many department stores, hotels and even arenas. Anyone ever heard of it or use it? Is it working for you?

Here's a interesting article that covers it.
#familiar #marketing #scent #smell
  • Profile picture of the author LinkContractor
    Hmm, it's similar to color marketing (for example, red vs green when forcing customers to buy something).

    And to relate to the topic at hand (scent marketing) every time I enter into an adidas store the specific smell there triggers something into my subconscious mind to buy new sport shoes.

    Hmm, you just gave me an interesting idea. wink wink!
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    coffee, flowers and freshly baked bread at a house viewing sort of thing
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by mjbmedia View Post

      coffee, flowers and freshly baked bread at a house viewing sort of thing
      Yea, that's a good point. When I sold Real Estate that was the first thing they taught me. Especially at Open Houses. Before you start, place an apple pie, baked cookies or bread in the oven to give the house a "homey feeling".
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Gray
      Every time I visit this forum, get very gud guidelines.

      Its a great IDEA. going to implement in my little restaurant..
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    The 800 pound gorilla of scent marketing is headquartered in Chattanooga. They do all the perfume scent stuff for big-time accounts:

    Arcade Marketing, Sample Solutions


    That's the website.
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    • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
      This will sound funny but onions was our scent that drew the crowds. Years ago our Kiwanis club was allowed to have a booth at a local air show but the booth was put at the very end of the vendor line. In fact it was at the end of the line in the last row. That's how far back we were.

      We were one of two food booths so we thought people would naturally come by. Wrong!

      One of our members looked at me and said I'll bet you a beer I can get us swamped in less than six minutes. OK, I fell for it.

      He stoked up the BBQ grill and piled on the onions. The wind did our marketing for us. In five minutes we had people standing in line.

      The moral of the story: smell marketing worked. If people like the smell, they'll buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author SethTheUBotGuy
      My marketer, jgkelley, lives in the neighborhood where Arcade used to be in Chattanooga (they've since moved out to an industrial park). He could seriously walk down the street and in at least a quarter-mile radius of their building, depending on what they were running, the air would smell like any number of different colognes or perfumes.



      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      The 800 pound gorilla of scent marketing is headquartered in Chattanooga. They do all the perfume scent stuff for big-time accounts:

      Arcade Marketing, Sample Solutions


      That's the website.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rearden
        I'm sure the South Side prefers perfume scents to the stank of chicken guts...

        Originally Posted by SethTheUBotGuy View Post

        My marketer, jgkelley, lives in the neighborhood where Arcade used to be in Chattanooga (they've since moved out to an industrial park). He could seriously walk down the street and in at least a quarter-mile radius of their building, depending on what they were running, the air would smell like any number of different colognes or perfumes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Wetzel
    Scent Marketing is a huge business.
    Many of the hotel chains: Westin, Holiday Inn, Sheraton...have signature scents that the use in all their soaps, shampoos and scent their lobbies with.

    The thing with scents are that you can't turn them off. Meaning you can close your eyes for visual marketing and your ears for audio but smell goes right to the limbic system in your brain so unless you've got a stuffed up nose...you can't stop the signal.

    Most everything smells these days. In the past "clean" was associated with bleach and ammonia fragrance, then it was "Pine" like Pinsol and now most of your shampoos and conditioners have trained our sense of smell so the new "clean" is a summer rain.

    I actually own the patent on putting scents into pens and using them as marketing and promotional items www scentedpenpatent com

    It's an interesting industry....there is even a ScentWorldExpo every year for the industry.
    I can tell you that it does work...that I'm certain of.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by Jon Wetzel View Post

      Scent Marketing is a huge business.
      Many of the hotel chains: Westin, Holiday Inn, Sheraton...have signature scents that the use in all their soaps, shampoos and scent their lobbies with.

      The thing with scents are that you can't turn them off. Meaning you can close your eyes for visual marketing and your ears for audio but smell goes right to the limbic system in your brain so unless you've got a stuffed up nose...you can't stop the signal.

      Most everything smells these days. In the past "clean" was associated with bleach and ammonia fragrance, then it was "Pine" like Pinsol and now most of your shampoos and conditioners have trained our sense of smell so the new "clean" is a summer rain.

      I actually own the patent on putting scents into pens and using them as marketing and promotional items www scentedpenpatent com

      It's an interesting industry....there is even a ScentWorldExpo every year for the industry.
      I can tell you that it does work...that I'm certain of.
      Interesting viewpoint.

      I never imagined scent marketing was that big, and so few people, even marketers, know very little about it.

      I guess the last frontier to apply scent marketing to will be Internet Marketing. Don't laugh, with that much money involved someone will think of a way. Stay tuned!
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  • Profile picture of the author SuzyBlack
    Yes the number one smell for selling a house isn't baking bread as is commonly believe but is... Hot Cinnamon Donuts!

    True and it works, after weeks of selling a house with no interest, a few warmed cinnamon donuts and we had 2 buyers on the table...

    Its amazing, and it does work, lots of places use it - take the Casinos in Vegas, partly they use scent to mask the smell of smoke, but walk into the hotel lobby of theHotel at Mandalay Bay and you will experience a coconut vanilla scent, giving you an experience of Asia, which the whole hotel is theme around in decor.

    The Mandalay Bay itself has a different, brighter tropics smell, taking you to the beachside lucury that its designed around.

    Smell is a great tool for marketing, I'm amazed that people dont know more about it.

    Remember the Lynx deodorant ads anyone?
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  • Profile picture of the author boyce
    Not very much familiar. that i knew is whenever we went for market to shop or in any hotel then there is always always a good smell,music around us that all for attracting the more customers .
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    I think I saw a WSO about this, but it didn't pass the smell test
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  • Profile picture of the author lovebeingdaddy
    Scents very powerful in evoking emotions and awakening the "senses". Can you say $12 Bucks for a small buttered popcorn at the movies..it always smells better than it tastes..
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    My family has a candle manufacturing biz so I know a bit about it.

    At your next meal, after a few bites, plug your nose, then have a few more bites. You'll realize how powerful the sense of smell really is. Along with other studies on its powerful connection to memories and its long lasting effects. I think it's very underutilized for marketers. Obviously doesn't lend itself much to IM and non brick/mortar, but can be incorporated by giving a client a logo'd gift such as a candle. They'll assoc the positive experience to you and it stays around for months, used repeatedly.

    Successful marketing and motivating the prospect to taking action translating to sales often depends on triggering emotion. Hard to do, and smell is strongly tied to emotion.

    Importantly, the olfactory cortex is embedded within the brain’s limbic system and amygdala, where emotions are born and emotional memories stored. That’s why smells, feelings and memories become so easily and intimately entangled, and why the simple act of washing dishes recently made Dr. Herz’s cousin break down and cry. “The smell of the dish soap reminded her of her grandmother,” said Dr. Herz, author of “The Scent of Desire.

    Moreover, numerous studies have shown that smell memory is long and resilient, and that the earliest odor associations we make often stick. “With a phone number, if you get a new one, a week later you may have forgotten the old one,” Dr. Herz said. “With smells, it’s the other way around. The first association is better than the second.”
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    We ran scent generators in our coffee shops to fill the air with scents of baked goods to compliment the coffee. We sold baked goods, but didn't actually prepare them. So having a blast of cinnamon roll or brownie hit you in the face, along with the natural smell of the coffee when you walked through the door, was good for about 40% increase in sales of baked goods.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      We ran scent generators in our coffee shops to fill the air with scents of baked goods to compliment the coffee. We sold baked goods, but didn't actually prepare them. So having a blast of cinnamon roll or brownie hit you in the face, along with the natural smell of the coffee when you walked through the door, was good for about 40% increase in sales of baked goods.
      That's wild, they actually make scent generators. The real surprise is how secret it's kept. I'm surprised 60 minutes, Dateline NBC or 20/20 hasn't ran a segment on this subject, not that's it's controversial, but interesting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      We ran scent generators in our coffee shops to fill the air with scents of baked goods to compliment the coffee. We sold baked goods, but didn't actually prepare them. So having a blast of cinnamon roll or brownie hit you in the face, along with the natural smell of the coffee when you walked through the door, was good for about 40% increase in sales of baked goods.
      I used to own a cafe/bakery, it had two drive-thru windows. This place was semi remote, but had a decent amount of traffic. During slow times, I would bake cookies and place a cookie sheet of them next to the drive-thru window. When folks would come through, they'd see these and ask for a couple. I would say "hang on, there's some coming out of the oven right now, I'll get you some hot ones!"

      More times than not, they'd reply back with, how much is a dozen? I don't think they could really smell the baking cookies from the window, but somewhere in their memory was the smell, and taste of hot cookies!
      Same thing went for anything I had in the oven when we'd have walk-ins. If they smelled it, they usually ordered more than one!

      Simple, it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author wally247
    Anyone who's ever been to a stripclub knows that those girls always smell pretty good (if you like candy + booze + cigarettes)...

    Always makes me want to spend my money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Who has smelled this cologne, its supposed to really smell like money.
    Wonder if I would get the same effect by rubbing a bunch of new
    money all over myself?
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    Like some of the other responses, this is something I didn't realize existed ... fascinating!

    I don't recall ever getting a Direct Marketing piece that has a smell attached to it. I've heard of "scratchers" though. Has anyone doing a lot of DM ever done a test of smell marketing there?

    Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    The postcard would have to hold the smell pretty well; getting it in good condition to the recipient where the smell is noticeable 2 feet away from the mailer would be my number one concern.
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  • Profile picture of the author Weedy92
    Love smell marketing, such an interesting way to market..
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  • Profile picture of the author SJJPFTW
    I have seen this used to cinemas to sell popcorn of all things!

    In ALOT of cinemas that "popcorn smell" that makes you want to buy the popcorn is not actually coming from the popcorn machine but from a scent machine.

    From memory a good quality scent machine costs a few hundred $ and the refills where a few dozen which last for a couple of weeks running 12 hours or so a day.

    I was considering using them in one of my old businesses but never quite got into it.
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